When it comes to adopting a baby, not every adoptive family lives in the same state as the birth mother and their future son or daughter. In fact, more times than not in the adoption industry today, adoptive parents and birth parents are communicating across state lines. So, it’s important to prepare for your trip to pick up your child ahead of time. Part of this is ensuring that you are in compliance with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). The second part is packing for your interstate adoption.

As an agency who regularly handles interstate adoptions, we are very familiar with the ICPC process and will be more than happy to guide you through this portion of your adoption journey. All paperwork must be approved before you can travel into your child’s birth state. With regards to packing, we’ve put together a useful resource to help you plan for your trip here.

Things to Pack

What and how you pack and may vary depending on whether you are driving or flying to your destination. If you are flying, it may be easier purchases certain items — like shampoo, toothpaste and other liquids — at the grocery store once you arrive. Otherwise, you’ll need to double-check the latest TSA restrictions and flying reminders.

The time of year is also crucial to take into consideration when packing for your interstate adoption. Just like you would before a vacation, watch the weather reports and check the climate for the area(s) you’ll be visiting. This will help you get a good baseline for what to expect. Remember, though, drier climates get colder in the evening than you might anticipate. So, be sure you have both cold and hot weather outfits no matter what.

For You and Your Partner/Spouse
  • Everyday clothes
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Toiletries (i.e. toothbrush, toothpaste, shower items, etc.)
  • Medicine (i.e. both preventative medicine and any prescriptions you’re currently taking)
  • Chargers (i.e. laptop, camera, cell phone)
  • Folders & Important Paperwork (i.e. any and all adoption paperwork, medical releases, etc.)
  • Camera
  • Journal
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Travel Guide

Don’t forget to bring along an extra outfit or two just in case your stay lasts longer than expected. This is a commonly overlooked concept when packing for your interstate adoption. Unless there are laundry facilities available to you, running out clothes is no fun. Especially if you arrive a week or two before your baby’s due date. As you know, babies can be unpredictable. Your baby is no exception. He or she may decide to be born on their own schedule instead of the doctor’s. In addition, if your visit includes a court appearance, it’s imperative that you pack an outfit that’s appropriate for that.

For Your Baby
  • Infant Car Seat
  • Baby Wrap Carrier/Stroller
  • Blankets
  • Diaper Bag (i.e. lots of diapers, burp cloths, bottles and formula, nipples pacifiers, wipes, bibs, washcloths, towels, etc.)
  • Baby Clothes (i.e. onesies, socks and booties, etc.)
  • Gift for your child’s birth mother
  • Portable Crib

Baby clothes, toys and other items can be pricey. So, don’t hesitate to request many of these items at your adoption baby shower. Remember, too, that once your baby is born, the hospital will no doubt have samples and helpful items to send home with you as well. For any specific questions or concerns with packing for your interstate adoption, you can always reach out to your adoption professional for help.

Packing for Your Interstate Adoption

The exact amount of time that you will spend in your child’s birth state can vary, depending on several different factors. So, as aforementioned, be sure that you pack extra items just in case. It’s better to be over prepared than under, especially if it’s a long way from home. Since you’ll be arriving before your baby is born, be sure that you have extra activities planned during your downtime. This will help the long waiting periods pass easier. It’ll give you opportunities to collect souvenirs and take pictures to show your son or daughter later in life as well. Perhaps when you sit down and talk to them about their adoption story.

Packing for your interstate adoption is an exciting and amazing time! It’s all too easy to forget details in the process, but that’s what we are here for. We want you to be as informed and ready to go as possible. Just think — you’re one step closer to bringing your baby home!

Adoption Choices of Colorado

For more information on adoption please contact Adoption Choices of Colorado. We can be reached via our website or phone 303-670-4401.

Support Adoption Choices

CrowdriseAdoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.

However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.

About the Author

Rachel RobertsonRachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.

In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.

When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.




Adoption, Lifetime. “7 Must-Have’s to Pack for Adoption Travel.” 7 Must-Have’s to Pack for Adoption Travel, blog.lifetimeadoption.com/adoptivefamilies/7-must-haves-to-pack-for-adoption-travel.

Elder, Tim. “9 Things You Need When Adopting from Another State.” Infant Adoption Guide, 1 Feb. 2019, infantadoptionguide.com/9-things-you-need-when-adopting-from-another-state/.

“For Adoptive Parents: Packing for Your Adoption Trip.” Angel Adoption, Angel Adoption, Inc., 18 Sept. 2019, www.angeladoptioninc.com/blog/for-adoptive-parents-your-packing-list-for-your-adoption-trip/.

Hall, Kate. “What to Pack for an Adoption Trip.” Scary Mommy, 16 July 2019, www.scarymommy.com/pack-for-an-adoption-trip/.

“Preparing to Travel for the Delivery and Hospital Stay.” American Adoptions Blog, 6 Mar. 2014, www.americanadoptions.com/blog/preparing-to-travel-for-the-delivery-and-hospital-stay/.

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